Sussex Couple’s 15-Year Non-Stop Journey Through 85 Countries

In an extraordinary journey spanning 15 years, Sussex couple Lauren Winslow-Llewelyn, 34, and Craig Hubbard, 41, have traversed 85 countries, emphasizing experiences over material possessions.

Financing the Adventure

The couple sustains their nomadic lifestyle by opting for low-wage jobs like waiters, coffee baristas, and hotel housekeepers.

By living frugally, they prioritize accumulating savings for travel experiences rather than material possessions.

A Nomadic Beginning

Inspired by a friend’s gap year plan, Lauren and Craig embarked on their journey after saving around £5,000 each from full-time restaurant work.

Initially, they lived in a station wagon in Australia, sparking their love for a mobile lifestyle.

Vans as Homes and Travel Companions

Over the years, Lauren and Craig have bought and sold seven vans, using them as both homes and means of exploration.

Their unique approach involves living in a van for six to 12 months, then selling it to fund the next phase of backpacking adventures.

Highlights and Challenges

Standout moments include horse riding in Kyrgyzstan, witnessing wild orcas in Shetland, and exploring Cappadocia with a stray dog.

Challenges include mechanical problems, safety concerns, and the stress of buying and selling vans.

Diverse Work and Travel Chapters

Their journey involves working as waiters, baristas, and housekeepers between travels.

Noteworthy chapters include a U.S. road trip, winter seasons in the Norwegian Arctic, and backpacking adventures across various continents.

Relationship Dynamics

The couple, who started dating in 2007, seamlessly transitioned into van life. They divide responsibilities, with Craig driving, Lauren navigating, Craig cooking, and Lauren handling cleaning and travel planning.

Favorite and Unfavorable Destinations

High on their list are the U.S for its variety, Norway for dramatic landscapes, and Spain for unexpected diversity. Conversely, Lithuania felt unfriendly, and Egypt was deemed too intense.

Future Plans and Reflections

Currently backpacking in Oman, the couple plans a budget trip to the Maldives, China, and Pakistan.

Reflecting on their 15-year journey, they find it more challenging but express the possibility of settling down, hinting at a patch of land to call home while still indulging in periodic travel.

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